ST. LOUIS (KMOV.com) -- A St. Louis adoption agency is sounding the alarm on the plummeting number of international adoptions, leaving some families in limbo.
Last year the State Department issued 4,700 visas to children adopted abroad. In 2002 that number was close to 23,000.
That's about an about an 80 percent drop in 15 years.
Local adoption agents blame changing federal regulations in the U.S., which make the process longer and more expensive for families.
“We are all for ethical adoptions. We believe in the standards and follow them,” said Nicky Losse, adoption services director for Children’s Hope International. “We follow the guidelines of the foreign government as well as our government but it seems to be they are pushing the envelope a little bit too much and imposing regulations that aren't always necessary.”
A spokesperson for the State Department, which oversees international adoptions, said the reason for the drop is because of changes in other countries, including Russia, China, and Guatemala.